NAMA Fall Conference Sets Records in St. Louis

Written by NAMA on Thursday, October 17, 2019 , 12:22 pm

More than 220 agri-marketers converged on St. Louis, Mo., for the eighth annual NAMA Fall Conference, “HuSTLe.” It was a banner year for this signature NAMA event, shattering all goals and attendance records!

The week kicked off with a Gateway NAMA tour of some of the most inventive ag operations near St. Louis: Purina and Stumpy’s Spirits. The high-energy day capped off with an elegant sushi reception at The Ritz-Carlton sponsored by Brownfield Ag News.

The first main day of Conference kicked off with former Google executive Steve Lerch. He shared stellar examples of breeding a culture of innovation. “Move, change and invent quickly,” he urged the audience. He called on attendees to accept failure as part of the process and pursue bold gains.

  1. Neil Caskey shared a behind-the-scenes look at how the National Corn Growers Association took control of the national conversation after a misguided attack ad about corn aired during the Super Bowl.
  2. Attendees learned about the birth of True Food TV, YouTube’s most watched food education channel. Nicole Cotroneo Jolly shared practical tips for creating powerful video storytelling.
  3. Bestselling author of InstaBrain Sarah Weise delivered compelling insights into mapping and optimizing the customer experience.
  4. Four agency c-suite leaders took to the stage to reveal keys to success. The leadership powerhouse included Melissa Galazka, VP Account Service, Paradowski; Suzan Knese, Chief Operating Officer, Osborn Barr Paramore (OBP); Tina VonderHaar, President & CEO, Brighton Agency; and Alison Berry, Chief Operating Officer, HLK.

Other conference highlights:

NAMA’s Professional Development Awards of Excellence were also presented during the conference. These 2019 awards were sponsored by Farm Progress and honorees included:

Doug Reynolds, Corteva Agriscience

Hannah Thompson-Weeman, Animal Agriculture Alliance

Bob Brunker, J.L. Farmakis, Inc.

The conference ended on a high note with a spirited presentation by Dr. Jacqueline M. Applegate, President, Global Vegetable Seeds & Environmental Science, Crop Science division of Bayer. She said effective organizations have what she terms OPTICS: Openness, Purpose-Driven, Trust, Imagination, Customer-Centricity and Soft Skills.

Takeaway Conference Themes

  1. To foster innovation, leave room for failure and evolution.
  2. Move to market quickly and adjust strategy accordingly.
  3. Today’s customers respond to authenticity and transparency. Go to the source to learn.
  4. Accept that change is inevitable and empower junior team members.
  5. Find your purpose first and stay focused. 

Check out the photos on NAMA’s flickr.

Fall Conference Session Recordings Available

Written by NAMA on Thursday, October 17, 2019 , 12:21 pm

Want to hear and see what you missed in St. Louis? The video recording of the Agency C-Suite Panel is available on NAMA’s YouTube channel. Visit to watch.

The audio recordings of three breakout sessions are available on the NAMA Member Portal. Click on 2019 Fall Conference Recordings.

2019 Fall Conference Breaks Attendance Record

Written by NAMA on Monday, September 30, 2019 , 12:35 pm

The 2019 Fall Conference, October 7-9 in St. Louis, has shattered the attendance record set in 2014. Over 200 professionals will attend the professional development sessions and networking opportunities. You can see the registration list at It’s not too late to get your name on the list. Register now for the Fall Conference and Gateway Ag Tour!

Still Time to Register for Fall Conference & Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 , 10:57 am

The NAMA Early Bird rate is extended to Friday, September 20. Register before then to save money. The hotel block is closed but NAMA has a few extra rooms should you need one. Contact Jenny Pickett at for details.

There’s still plenty of time to add the Gateway Ag Tour to your reservation. The tour takes place Monday, October 7, 2019 from Noon – 4:00 pm. The price for this tour is $60 and includes lunch.

Stops on the tour include:


Take advantage of this opportunity to hear about the industry-leading research done by animal nutrition giant, Purina. Founded in 1894 as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company by William H. Danforth partnering with George Robinson and William Andrews, the business began by feeding farm animals. Since then, they’ve been guided by the belief that animals and people are better together and the name eventually changed to Purina. The company’s passion for animals now goes beyond pet nutrition to forging partnerships and creating innovative products. You can tell from the moment you walk in the door that their world revolves around animals, whether you’re seeing the art on the walls or the many cats and dogs that employees take to work every day. This will be an experience you won’t forget.

Stumpy’s Spirits

Experience a brewery changing the game. From fresh limestone well water to grain grown on nearby land, Stumpy’s Spirits in Columbia, Illinois, sources nearly all of their ingredients from their eighth generation family farm. Having full control over the grain they grow allows them to do what others can’t. They plant, harvest, mill, mash, ferment, and distill their spirits from grain to glass. Join us for a private tour and tasting at their distillery where samples of their spirits – bourbon, vodka and whiskey – will be served in a keepsake tasting glass.

Be sure to add this fantastic off-site afternoon to your pre-event plans as you register for the Fall Conference.

Fall Conference Features High Caliber Keynoters

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 30, 2019 , 10:45 am

Create a culture of innovation using tips from Steve Lerch’s decade at Google. Hear how Sarah Weise turns research into cohesive experiences and irresistible products. And in a Bonus Breakout, True Food TV star Nicole Jolly will share secrets to distilling complex ideas into engaging stories.  The Fall Conference closes with its annual session; Through the Lens of a Leader, featuring Jacqueline Applegate, President, Global Vegetable Seeds & Environmental Science, Crop Science division of Bayer.

Get the know-how to make great things happen at the 2019 NAMA Fall Conference. Join agri-marketing colleagues in St. Louis October 7-9 for HUSTLE and be in the center of it all. But register now – the early rate ends on September 16.  Download the full brochure here.

Keynote Speakers Announced for Fall Conference

Written by NAMA on Thursday, August 1, 2019 , 8:18 am

NAMA Fall Conference takes place October 7-9 at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis.  Keynote speakers and schedule are confirmed.  Details will be on the web site by August 5.

Innovation Through Culture—Stories From a Decade at Google
Steve Lerch 

Innovative thinking is changing the modern world faster than at any point in human history. But now more than ever, innovation is not resigned to only the inventors, engineers and scientists. The greatest innovators of our time are men like Steve Jobs—a man who didn’t invent the first Apple computer (Steve Wozniak) nor the iPod or iPhone (Tony Fadell). Instead, he established a culture of innovation that catalyzed and nurtured new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Steve Lerch will share stories from a decade at Google, where he worked with the world’s most innovative brands like GoPro, FitBit and Nest. Dive into the history of some of Google’s most iconic projects like self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses. More importantly, understand the simple, underlying cultural principles that allowed for these innovations.  Steve will also present a breakout session entitled Parallels Between B2B and B2C Strategies.

Knockout Customer Experience: A Service Design Approach
Sarah Weise

Gain insights for better understanding customer behaviors and drivers, real-world service blueprinting, and bottom-line success stories. Sarah Weise will teach you to deeply understand your customers and their omnichannel experiences in order to create a cohesive customer experience and spot new opportunities to break the mold, experiment and see what happens.

Sarah is the founder and CEO of award-winning market research firm Bixa, and author of the bestselling book InstaBrain: The New Rules of Marketing to Generation Z. She has been at the forefront of historical website launches, has boosted e-commerce sales no one thought possible and been put to the test at a time when tragedy struck and America needed to know. Sarah has leveraged customer research to craft incredible experiences for over 100 major brands including Capital One and PBS.

Sarah will also present a breakout session entitled InstaBrain: Marketing to a New Generation of Customers.

Bonus Breakout: 
Storytelling Secrets from an Unlikely YouTube Star
Nicole Jolly 

Nicole Jolly is recognized as a leading voice in agricultural literacy. She is the creator, host and head writer of True Food TV (TFTV), YouTube’s most watched channel dedicated to knowing where our food comes from. TFTV partners with some of the biggest brand names in food such as Campbell’s, Sabra and Ocean Spray. From wading waist-high in cranberry bogs to driving monster-sized combines, Nicole has brought millions of viewers inside the unseen origins of their favorite foods.

Nicole will share her experiences working as a journalist for The New York Times and other publications and offer insights on how to turn detailed information into engaging stories that grab people through authenticity.


Monday, October 7  
Noon to 4:00 p.m. Gateway NAMA Ag Tour
2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. NAMA Board Meeting
5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Opening Reception
Tuesday, October 8  
8:00 to 9:00 a.m.Continental Breakfast
9:00 to 10:15 a.m.General Session
10:15 to 10:30 a.m.Break
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Breakout Sessions
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.Lunch
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.Breakout Sessions
2:30 to 2:45 p.m.Break
2:45 to 4:15 p.m.General Session
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.Reception at Brighton Agency
Wednesday, October 9  
8:00 to 9:00 a.m.Breakfast
9:00 to 10:15 a.m.General Session & Awards
10:15 to 10:30 a.m.Break
10:30 to 11:45 a.m.Closing General Session

Sponsorship opportunities are available and are a great way to get your company noticed. Contact Jenny Pickett, for more details.

Mark Your Calendars for Fall Conference

Written by NAMA on Monday, July 1, 2019 , 7:28 am

NAMA Fall Conference moves to October this year.  Mark your calendars for October 7-9 at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, Missouri.  Keynote speaker details will be available soon.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and are a great way to get your company noticed. Contact Jenny Pickett, for more details.

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